Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Reviews: Metal Edition


I know that I'm a bit late on this one but in a year where two thrash metal giants release albums as strong as these and with a supergroup making (good) noise, it seemed best to wrap them together. Everyone knows the story by now about the genesis of Megadeth and how it roots in founder Dave Mustaine's jealousy and anger towards wiping Metallica off the planet. For the better part of this millenium, Mr. Mustaine should have rested easy, as his former bandmates experimented themselves into near irrelevence. With Risk closing out the '90s and The World Needs A Hero starting this decade, it seemed as though the mighty 'Deth had lost its way. But despite being "born again", Mustaine has proven to be reinvigorated since his sleeping accident that almost took away his ability to play guitar. He has followed those "efforts" with now 3 strong, politically charged albums: The System Has Failed, United Abominations, and Endgame. While the band most likely will never reach the heights of Countdown To Extinction again, there is certainly nothing to be ashamed of in this present incarnation. The musicianship is as tight as in the Rust In Peace era and the material is nearly as strong. This is a relentless assault that you don't mind being hit with. And speaking of relentless...

World Painted Blood

Admittedly, I have never been much of a Slayer fan. I have seen them perform and it is quite an experience but being put on record seems to bottle up their fury. This album, somehow, pulverizes me just the right way. Slayer has zero pop sensibilities. Their idea of a chorus is to slow down enough so that the listener can maybe catch a few of Tom Araya's yells so that they know the song title. Dave Lombardo is easily the best drummer in metal and the guitars of Hanneman and King serve their purpose. Their strength as a band is their unrelenting beating upon the eardrums almost forcing a listener to submit, maybe, rather than enjoy. Well, I give. I give. And I enjoy.


I know I said "supergroup" but bear with me. The lineup is Scott "Wino" Weinrich from Saint Vitus, Dale Crover of the Melvins, Scott Kelly of Neurosis, and Al Cisneros of OM. I realize this is hardly a who's who of metal but, believe me, the combo shows a lot of promise. Crover has been a solid drummer for over 20 years and Weinrich was a fixture at SST Records in the glory years, so there's definitely some cred here. While definitely slowing it down from the thrash legends reviewed above, there is a dirge quality to the tracks reminiscent of Black Sabbath along with growling that is far more overtly evil than the wailings of Osbourne or Dio. A solid debut from grizzled vets that doesn't outdue any of the bands mentioned here but will make them sleep with one eye open.

The Grades:

  1. Dialectic Chaos – 7.7
  2. This Day We Fight! - 8.0
  3. 44 Minutes – 6.7
  4. 1320' – 8.4
  5. Bite The Hand – 7.2
  6. Bodies – 7.4
  7. Endgame – 7.5
  8. The Hardest Part Of Letting Go...Sealed With A Kiss – 8.3
  9. Head Crusher – 8.6
  10. How The Story Ends – 8.8
  11. The Right To Go Insane – 8.2



  1. World Painted Blood – 8.5
  2. Unit 731 – 7.3
  3. Snuff – 7.1
  4. Beauty Through Order – 7.4
  5. Hate Worldwide – 8.1
  6. Public Display Of Dismemberment – 7.8
  7. Human Strain – 6.7
  8. Americon – 8.4
  9. Psychopathy Red – 8.0
  10. Playing With Dolls – 7.6
  11. Not Of This God – 8.3



  1. Solar Benediction – 7.8
  2. Pyramid Of The Moon – 7.1
  3. Blind For All To See – 6.7
  4. The Architect – 8.0
  5. Science Of Anger – 8.6


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